White House Briefing CSPAN March 22, 2018 6:27pm-6:47pm EDT
victory. joining us, pat buchanan, author of "the greatest comeback," and barbara perry, co-director of the presidential oral history program at the university of virginia. watch "1968 america in turmoil" live sunday at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span's "washington journal" and on american history tv on c-span3. >> next, today's white house briefing with budget director mick mulvaney and legislative affairs director mark short. they awe a -- they announced president trump will sign the $1.3 trillion government spending bill the house approved earlier this afternoon. the legislation is now
under consideration in the u.s. senate. this is 20 minutes.
sarah: good afternoon. the president has three events today that are open to the press pool and there's a lot of action to cover, i want to make sure you have the most up to date information on the omnibus this bill is so important on many fronts, from school safety and troop funding to opioids and veterans care. to give you the detailed rundown and answer a few questions with o.m.b. director mick mulvaney and director of legislative affairs mark short, i'll bring them up now, they'll provide some details and answer your questions orphan this topic. at the conclusion of
their q&a, our press team is around to answer further questions you have on news of the day. hanks so much, guys. >> let's cut to the chase is the president going to sign the bill? the answer is yes. why? it funds his priorities. we've talked for the last three, four, five six months about trying to get the president's
priorities funded and this omnibus bill does that. it funds national defense. it gives the troops the increase we'd try to get them in their compensation. it funds opioids. it funds school safety. mr. mulvaney: it's a tremendous increase in work force development. it actually starts taking a look at funding infrastructure. and it also does a lot of what we wanted, not everything we wanted but a lot of what we wanted on immigration. so all things considered, when we look at the bill, we have to weigh what we asked for and what we had to give away to get it. is it perfect? no. is it exactly what we asked for in the budget? no. were we ever going to get that? no. that's not how the process works. when appropriations bills have to have 60 votes in the senate which they do, you're going to always have to rely on democrat votes in a republican majority like we have. we need nine democrats to support this bill. there was no chance of everything that we wanted
passing. this is probably a good opportunity to bring up the idea of a line item veto. if the president had that, this bill would look a lot different by the time it became law. but we do not have that opportunity. it would be a good time to welcome at the rules in the senate that drive us to these types of end results. but all things considered in the balance the president supports the bill, looks forward to ofning it before the funding the last appropriations ends by midnight. >> director mulvaney can give you more details but his team puts together a budget for congress in february. congress is supposed to complete the appropriations process by september 30 at the end of the fiscal year. what we've endured since then is six continuing resolutions. mr. short: secretary mattis continues to tell us it's debilitate what had he needs to do. he has equipment he needs to repair that he'd rather purchase
new equipment. twhoinch greatest priorities was to rebuild the military this will provide the largest year over year increase in defense spending since world war ii. it'll be the largest increase for the men and women in yube form in salary in the last 10 years. additionally it provides as we audiocassette talked about one of our signature priorities, $1.6 billion for the wall. it also provides a 10% increase for i.c.e.'s budget as well as a 10% increase for d.h.s. overall. a couple of things we were pleased with this bill after the tragic school shootings, there are a couple of legislative matters we asked the congress to adopt. one was the cornyn-murphy bill, better known as the fix nics, as well as the stop school violence act, providing $2 billion for school safety, focused on purchasing equipment and personnel. both of those are in the omnibus. as mick outlined from the short this process is one that
certainly leaves a lot to be desired and it's one in which the appropriations process in congress has been broken now for 22 years. it's been 22 years, since 1996, when actually an appropriations process worked and the president signed a bill. instead we've been left with continuing resolutions. so we have a hopsian choice of do you have a continuing resolution again or do you begin to build what you lay our out as priorities including national security and border security. we are pleased with that and hence the president agreed to upport the bill. reporter: i hear from both of you about spending increases, infrastructure, $1.3 trillion to get us to october. a lot about what's in here in terms of money going out, none of the fiscal responsibility. what happened to the republican party, the republican party now controls all branches of government, what happened to you, i mean, you're -- your own
colleagues in the freedom caucus called this an insult to the american taxpayer. mr. mulvaney: you expect me to give the same answer? we don't control all the halls of government. when you have to have 60 votes in the senate, there's only 51 republicans, we don't control the senate under current rules. therefore we have to give the democrats something. this is the same discussion we had when we cut the caps deal that led us here. this is the second step of the caps deal. we raised the caps a couple of months ago, now we spend up to the caps today. in order to get the defense spending primarily but all the rest of our priorities funded we had to give away a lot of stuff we didn't want to givet away and would not have given away if we were really in charge of the senate. this is how it works. this is what a bill looks like when you have 60 votes in the senate, when the democrats get a chance to take their pound of flesh in order to defend the nation. >> your former colleagues in the
freedom caucus -- you wouldn't be voting for this would you? >> there's going to be a bunch of folks who vote against this for a bunch of different reasons. there'll be some who vote against it because it spends too much money, there'll be folks who weren't -- who vote against it because they weren't involved in the process, i have a statement from the democrat hispanic caucus. they don't let my hispanic republicans in the group. that's carlos an mario, carlos curbelo and mario diaz-balart. they say we cannot support this as it would support trump's border wall. there's a bunch of reasons a bunch of groups will vote against this bill. and different folks for different reasons. reporter: i'm wondering if you can talk about priorities as it relates to funding planned parenthood. a lot of americans feel strongly against the idea that the federal government is doing something that they believe either should be done privately or in concert with the states and if i could follow i want to
ask you about your priority as it relates to the law when people see the other numbers, the wall doesn't seem like it's as high a priority as perhaps many trump vetters might have anticipated. can you address that. mr. short: on the first one, i think this administration is very proud of our stand for life. from the very start, this adhargs has stood for life, beginning with the mexico city policy, having the first vice president of the united states speak to the march for live rally. the president addressed this year. i think we've been very proud of that record. if you look at this legislation, t maintains every single pro-life protection in hyde language and helms language to make sure that no taxpayer dollars are going to fund abortions. that's -- that is the truth in this bill. regarding your second question on the border security. keep in mind this bill is for the next six months of this fiscal year. $1.6 billion in wall funding is
what we can expend of the next six months to do what we've been asked to do as the director said it actually ends up providing more miles and new construction than what we'd originally asked for. mr. mulvaney: let me go over there, "the washington times" has an article saying we changed policy regarding asylum and other things, that's inaccurate. the a.p. says we can't build the pro to type wall and that's inaccurate. here's the line-by-line breakdown. asked for 28 miles of levee in the rio grande valley we got 25. we asked for 32 miles we only got 8 there. we asked for 14 miles in san diego and got all 14 miles. that includes building the new type of wall that the president actually visited last year. the steel fence with the concrete across the top. all 14 miles funded in this
bill. we didn't ask for any replacement barrier and got 63 miles in the bill. we got more money than we asked doctor for in technology, more money than we asked for in roads nd facilities, border patrol weapons, and more in hiring and redention. did we get everything we wanned when it comes to immigration? absolutely not. did we get a daca fix? no. let's make it clear. the president wanted a daca fix as part of this deal. he offered a large parkage, with a complete daca fix for -- in exchange for the entire wall. he offered three years of a daca fix for three years of wall. the democrats in the house and senate made it clear they think they're winning in court and don't want to fix this legislatively. we've reached out to them again and again to try to fix daca and they refuse to engage on the topic. on this we asked for 74 miles worth of mile and get 110. not exactly what we wanted, where we wanted, kuok chose to
ignore some of the suggestions of the c.b.p. made on where the best kind of wall should go, and that's unfortunate. and there's some other things we asked for we did not get. there's limiting as on d.h.s. that we don't particularly care for. but generally speaking we think this is a really, really good immigration package, one of the reasons the democrat hispanic caucus doesn't like it much. reporter: the 14 miles in san diego is that replacing something that's already there, adding to it? i'm trying to understand how it is that in san diego you don't any sr. any type of wall at all. mr. mulvaney there's in san diego there's a wall on the border, last two-wall system with roads on both sides this is the secondary wall which is -- which would be another wall behind the first one and it's the pro to type that again, i don't know how to describe it, i don't know if it has a name the steel wall with the concrete across the top with the rounded
covering in order to prevent grappling hooks. reporter: on february 12 you said the only way to get a serious wall is if you get a daca deal. does that still stand? mr. mulvaney: we got 110 miles we need 10 times that. i think what i said in february stands today. the congress will not give us that without a daca fix. an immigration reform. and we want that. but they refuse to do it. mr. short: a little more clarity on that piece. what was well covered obviously was the battle on the daca fix earlier this winter. part of the omnibus, the president put forward that if we're not going to be able to do the things we want for large immigration reform on chain migration and diversity lottery, what i would look to do is protect those who are in this country working hard who have daca permits.
will you partner with me in doing that and fund the wall? democrats said no. we came back after multiple additional conversations to something the democrats had asked for priestly. which was will you give us three years wall funding but keep these people here and protected for the next three years? the democrats said in. what is clear at this point is the democrats do not want a solution to this. this is a political weapon that they appreciate. they want to use the permit holders as political pawns in their game and the president has tried to fix this problem and to solve it and has offered multiple different proposals, yielding in many ways where we started. but it's absolutely clear the democrats no longer want a legislative solution to daca. reporter: democrats said they were never interested in a short-term deal for daca recipients. is that fair or not fair? mr. short: we have been willing to negotiate. the democrats have been
unwilling to talk to us. they do not want a solution in his. >> the president had an event on it this week, as we flew to california last week, it had to be part of the omnibus, how are you ever going to get that? mr. mulvaney: a lot of policies we wanted to see in immigration we did not get. we got a lot of physical structure a lot of money we wanted but a lot of the policies we didn't get. let me go back to the original point, if this was a republican bill it would be dramatically different. the house pass all 12 of their appropriations bills, i don't think the senate passed a single one off the floor. the house appropriations bill for d.h.s. was good and contained a lot of our policies. that's the difference when you have the rule in the senate that you have to buy democrat votes, by giving things republicans don't like or giving up things we do like.
reporter: will the policies change? mr. short: to mick's earlier point the way the senate rules are constructed now it requires 60 vets. it does have a majority in the senate. it does not yet have 60 vets. you'll see the president continue to make this a priority and we'll continue to talk about things like what's happening in oakland. i think the american people were disturbed about. we continue to raise and elevate the importance of this issue. we hope we'll continue to get additional votes in the senate. reporter: this is for both of you two followups, one on daca, do you concede, are you prepared that it stays in place through the mid terms, have you lost leverage on that issue and number two on the tariffs is the president sparking a trade war? mr. mulvaney: the president is going to speak -- we'll have to wrap up in a few minutes because the president is going to speak in a few minute. we won't speak to the tariffs,
we'll let him speak for himself. this was the best chance to fix daca before the mid-term elections. the president has been actively engaged in trying to encourage a daca solution. permanent, short-term, whatever. so that this uncertainty that's caused by the varying court decisions could be put to rest. the democrats want this as a political issue. >> a number of the president's core supporters want to see daca done with. >> i think the president wants to figure out a way to solve this issue. that has not changed. we'll go there and there and that will be the last ski. -- last question. reporter: setting aside barriers that are secondary walls or replacements for what's there, you've gotten 33 new miles of barrier that wasn't there before? mr. mulvaney: i can't confirm -- of the 110 miles not all of that is brand new that we previously didn't have.
reporter: so about 33 miles of barrier he president said he doesn't want to build a 1,900 wall. maybe half of it. at this rate, 33 miles in six months it'll take more than 14 years to complete the project he promised would be done his first term. mr. mulvaney: if they give us the money to do that, we'd do it now. about the specific number of miles, i don't know if you were here, about six months ago i did a presser on the actual wall. if you you have a broken down chain link fence that you and i could walk through with no effort and we put up a 20-foot-high wall, that's not new barrier. ok. but it is effectively a new barrier. i don't think it's apples to happenles when you say it's only 33 mile poffs new material. the bottom line is if congress will appropriate the money we will build the wall today. >> what do you say to the president when he says you didn't work hard enough to get that. mr. short: i would ask you to keep in mind this money is for
the next six months. we are halfway through the fiscal year. we have already submitted budgets for 2019 and the house began working on that immediately. we have continued to ask for additional funding to continue the wall throughout this year. this is for six month because congress is unable to complete the appropriations process which led to repeated continuing resolutions which doesn't have the same funding for the wall. reporter: one question for you, director mulvaney, how would you have voted on this? mr. mulvaney: i'm not the fifth district congressman from south carolina anymore i'm the director of the office of management and budget and my job is to get the president's priorities funded which this does. there are a bunch of people who will vote no on this today, there's a bunch of reasons people will vote against it. the president wants toyota pass and wants it to be signed. reporter: what conversation has the white house been having with senator rand paul? has the president spoken to him?
any assurances made? mr. short: i have not spoken with senator paul regarding this bill. reporter: as the president? mr. short: i'm not. i would also ask if you want to know where the administration stands look at the budget we submitted. it cuts $3 trillion over the next 10 years. that is the president's -- we we have to work at getting 60 vets -- votes in the united states senate. when you ask where the administration stands, show where we make cuts. the president is taking seriously his commitment to making sure that the $23 trillion in debt is overturned. we put forth fiscally responsible budgets and we need congress to partner with us on that. mr. mulvaney: we have to go, the president is getting ready to speak. >> that's office of management and budget director mick